Our lockdown year | ‘Risky but lucrative’ - dealer tells of selling cigarettes illegally

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The illegal trade in cigarettes during the lockdown tempted many to go into the illegal business, however risky it was.
The illegal trade in cigarettes during the lockdown tempted many to go into the illegal business, however risky it was.
Moeketsi Mamane

“Everyone thinks it was as easy as just selling cigarettes at exorbitant prices and making a ton of cash. Don’t get me wrong, I did make a lot of money, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing.”

Those are the words of a former cigarette dealer, who said the business came with a lot of stress and second guessing all the time.

Banned by the South African government on March 27, tobacco products were scarce for months and sold largely on the black market until mid-August.

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